Still Dickin' around

News Hits promises to lay off Mr. DeVos once the election is over, with the caveat that there will be a steady diet of Dick should his prayers be answered (and ours ignored) and he actually unseats incumbent Gov. Jenny Granholm. But, with less than two weeks to go before Judgment Day (Nov. 7), we would be remiss not to inform you about one particularly telling side story to this election: the American Family Association’s boycott of Ford Motor Co. for supporting the dreaded "homosexual agenda" by, among other things, advertising in godless gay-oriented newspapers. Moreover, the company had the temerity to have its advertising associated with a TV program featuring what the AFA described as "a passionate kiss between two lesbians." Land-oh-goshens, what is this world coming to? Women kissing on the teevee? The Second Coming must surely be nigh.

The boycott launched by the Mississippi-based fundamentalist Christian group began in May 2005, was halted when Ford dealers asked for time to, uh, straighten things out, then was reinstituted when Ford, according to the AFA, "reneged" on a deal to quit supporting the homosexual agenda.

Cultural warrior Donald E. Wildmon, head of the 2.2 million member AFA, boasts on his organization’s Web site that the "boycott continues to be effective," citing a 11.6 percent drop in Ford sales for the month of August.

So, what’s this have to do with Dick? Turns out his wife Betsy DeVos, the former chair of the Michigan Republican Party, is vice president of the Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation. That foundation, launched by Betsy’s late father (who made a fortune in the auto parts business), gave the AFA $5,000 in 2004, according to the most recent records on file with the IRS.

So, a family-run foundation that has the wife of a gubernatorial candidate in a key position is helping fund a group that is boycotting one of Michigan’s leading employers at a time when that same candidate has made the dire condition of the state’s economy the focus of his campaign.

Sean Kosofsky, director of the political arm of the Detroit-based Triangle Foundation, a gay advocacy group, is outraged by the hypocrisy and dumbfounded that this hasn’t become more of an issue in the campaign.

If this were Daniel Mulhern, husband of Gov. Granholm, contributing to a boycott of a major employer in this state, says Kosofsky, the Republicans — and the media — would be merciless in their hammering.

"If this was Dan Mulhern’s family helping fund a boycott of Ford," says Kosofsky, "Granholm would be toast." News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette. Contact the column at 313-202-8004 or [email protected]

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